What Employee Overtime Pay Laws Apply to McDonald’s?

Popular Restaurants could Face More Unpaid Wages Lawsuits If They Do Not Comply with FLSA

Many of the McDonald’s employees fall under the non-exempt category of employment and MUST be paid overtime wages according to the guidelines laid out in the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA). The FLSA sets the overtime rate for non-exempt employees at time and one-half their standard rate of pay for any time worked over 40 hours in a single week.

The FLSA regulations do not apply to “administrative” or “professional” employees due to exemptions preventing specific categories of employees from receiving overtime pay.

Exemptions are not based entirely on one’s job title, however. Whether or not an employee should receive overtime pay is calculated by the hours worked, the rate of pay, the job duties, and even the job description.

It’s always a good idea to speak with an attorney with experience in overtime pay laws due to issues with additional state laws governing overtime pay. These laws sometimes overlap federal laws and further complicate or contradict the FLSA.

What is McDonald’s?

Founded in 1940, McDonald’s is an American fast food company expanded by businessman Ray Kroc. McDonald’s is the world’s largest restaurant chain by revenue, serving over 69 million customers daily in over 100 countries across approximately 36,900 outlets as of 2016. Although McDonald’s is known for its hamburgers, they also sell cheeseburgers, chicken products, french fries, breakfast items, soft drinks, and desserts. The McDonald’s Corporation revenues come from the rent, royalties, and fees paid by the franchisees, as well as sales in company-operated restaurants. According to a BBC report published in 2012, McDonald’s is the world’s second largest private employer, 1.5 million of whom work for franchises. McDonald’s iconic ‘Golden Arches’ is among the most recognizable branding in the world, contributing value to the neary $24.6 billion in revenue the franchise generates yearly. McDonald’s is undeniably one of the most impressive companies in the world.

Can McDonald’s Employees Earn Overtime Wages?

Read more about Wage Theft here

Numerous non-exempt McDonald’s employees may be required to start before their shifts or even work after their shifts finish off the clock. It is not uncommon for employees to work double shifts as well. Because of this, if many McDonald’s employees exceed 40 working hours in a single week, they should receive overtime pay.

Employers have been known to illegally misclassify positions to avoid paying overtime. For instance, McDonald’s shift or location managers may have been labeled “managers” with the goal of marking them exempt from overtime pay. However, these employees are in fact non-exempt because of the nature of their job duties.

Often companies label employees as managers even though they do not fill vital roles for the business. The FLSA dictates that “managers” must have specific abilities, for instance, hiring or firing employees, making schedules, or completing other tasks that are essential to the running of the business. Typically these employees do not perform these duties and are instead only labeled as managers for employers to save money by avoiding paying overtime.

Another unlawful practice that the McDonald’s may perform is having employees clock in before a shift or asking them to stay after a shift without compensating them. This practice of manipulating time cards to keep payroll costs down is a violation of the FLSA and can result in a lawsuit.

How Can a FLSA Lawyer Help You

An experienced lawyer can analyze your case and see if you are entitled to lost overtime wages from McDonald’s by evaluating how state and federal laws apply to your situation.

Does McDonald’s Have to Pay Overtime Wages to Employees?

See our Overtime Pay Checklist here

For the most part, McDonald’s must pay overtime to non-exempt employees who work more than 40 hours in a week as long as they are not excluded by the FLSA. However, these exemptions become more complicated by some states that have additional laws governing them.

If you feel like you have been denied overtime wages, then it is in your best interest to consult an attorney with FLSA experience and knowledge of state overtime laws.

Are There Other Overtime Pay Lawsuits Involving McDonald’s?

Here are a few examples from the many previous lawsuits that have been issued against other employers for failing to pay overtime wages:

  • Justia lists over 338 lawsuits alleging labor law violations in the past two decades
  • In 2015, the NLRB ruled that franchisors like McDonald’s also have liability in labor related violations of franchisees

Also, see: Have you been the victim of workplace sexual harassment?

If you feel as though McDonald’s or any another employer has denied you overtime wages, you could have a case. Please get in touch with the Lemberg Law legal team. Complete our form for a FREE case evaluation, or call 844-685-9200 NOW. Lemberg Law will evaluate your case as see if you are eligible to receive lost overtime wages as a non-exempt employee.

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About the Author:

Sergei Lemberg is a lawyer whose practice focuses on consumer law, class actions and personal injury litigation. He has been repeatedly recognized as the “most active consumer attorney” in the country. In 2020, Mr. Lemberg represented Noah Duguid in the United States Supreme Court in the case entitled Duguid v. Facebook. He is the author of Defanging Debt Collectors, a book that teaches consumers how to battle debt collectors and win.

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